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Oaty, Nutty, Fruity Cookies (1)I am a massive fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and have most of his books. His meat one in particular is what inspired me to take all of the butchery courses at The Ginger Pig, but thats a whole other discussion. I find that many of his recipes are often gluten free…. But now there is a WHOLE BOOK.

River Cottage Light & Easy is the latest tome from Devon HQ and this time all the recipes are wheat and dairy free. Quite a challenge. But as ever it is approached with creativity, seasonality, and real inventiveness. The book does not claim to be be gluten free, as many of the recipes use rye, especially in the baking. But fear not, this leaves literally hundreds of things to try. I have given up bookmarking pages. Whilst I work my way through a few of these, here is a recipe for Oaty, Nutty, Fruity Cookies kindly shared by River Cottage, to give you a taste of what’s to come in the review.

Oaty, nutty, fruity cookies
I can’t think of a nicer way to refuel mid-morning or teatime than with one (or two) of these. In texture they’re somewhere between a soft, chewy cookie and a tender rock cake – a pretty good place to be.
Makes about 12
200g crunchy, no sugar added peanut butter
75g runny honey
1 egg
1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g raisins
50g porridge oats
Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Put the peanut butter in a mixing bowl. Add the honey and beat it in, then add the egg
and beat that in thoroughly. Sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over the surface and beat it in, then stir in the raisins and oats. You will end up with a very stiff, chunky dough.
Put heaped dessertspoonfuls of the mixture on to the prepared baking tray. If you like
you can shape them gently into rough rounds with lightly oiled fingertips. Leave a little
space between each because they will expand slightly in the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes, then transfer carefully to a wire rack to cool. These are best eaten within 2–3 days of baking.
Extract taken from River Cottage Light & Easy by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury Publishing, £25.00, Hardback
Photography © Simon Wheeler